My Best Damn Race – Part 1

Yesterday I achieved my single goal for this run season at The Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor. Since October 22, the day after my last triathlon race of the year at Ironman North Carolina, I’ve had a picture posted to my wall with the time, 18:59, a quote from legendary runner Steve Prefontaine and a caption reading, “How Bad Do You Want It?” My goal was to run 18:59 or faster this season, surpassing my personal best time of 19:17 two years ago and I targeted this race to do it.

Different Mindset

I can remember in my first run season four years ago, my coach told me it would take several seasons/years to learn how to race and he was talking more about pace. He was introducing me to the ability and mindset required to run through pain if you want to be competitive. I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant then but I do now.

A few people and resources have really helped me understand what it means to embrace the “suck” and pain to will yourself to meet your goals. I will need to do separate blogs to dive deeper here, but a couple highlights include:

  • Olaniyi Sobomehin – his story is great – undersized, never given a chance and makes it to the NFL. One thing he said, is the name of his website, and has stuck with me since the day I listened to him on the Rich Roll Podcast, is that “I am not you,” meaning “don’t get me confused with you as I am willing to do the work that you aren’t.” Wow…so powerful and it’s in each person’s control. When I don’t feel like getting up at 4am for a training routine, I think of this attitude from Olaniyi. I don’t want my results being determined by someone else out working me. He is also displayed on my wall.
  • Chris Hauth – Endurance Athlete and Coach (Coach of Rich Roll) discusses the need to go dark meaning you have to get used to training and pushing your body when you are tired, fatigued, and want out. I love his quote, “get the body tired first, then the training begins.” I train high volume and get to this state for specific workouts…in consult with my current coach of course. Chris Hauth and his “Go Dark” spirit is also on my wall.
  • Matt Fitzgerald – author of the book, “How Bad Do You Want It. Florida Atlantic Cross Country and Track Head Coach, Alex Smolka, suggested this read for Morgan. When Morgan told me I bought two books (could I benefit?) and this really changed things for me going into the season. Matt goes into the science of the brain and body and provides tactical actions to do to embrace the “suck,” expect it, plan for it, and just know you will be in a lot of pain. GAME CHANGER! I incorporated techniques immediately. Also on my wall. Thanks coach for this suggested read!
  • Michael McDonald – elite runner, my run coach and more than that, a great friend. We consult on plans, adjustments, techniques, race dynamics and the list goes on. In workouts, he drives every bit of effort out of me when I’m wondering where I’m getting it from. He has been a GAME CHANGER! He’s not on my wall. We both may think that’s weird…..ha!

Up to The Best Damn Race

From November to yesterday I had a plan for training and each race, progressing in run and race specific elements…..thank you Michael for all the consults! Taper week went great with one question. On race morning I got up and the way my quads felt I questioned if my pre-race run the day prior was a bit too fast as my quads had a bit of a burning sensation.

More in Part 2

– Add Health to Your Life



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